Unraveling Forest Practice Policies in China: Subnational Comparisons through Policy Prescriptiveness Framework

Yimin Fu, Yixian Sun, Jinlong Liu, Benjamin William Cashore, Wenyuan Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Forest policy classification is critical to conducting comparisons and understanding performance variations across cases. Chinese-style forest policy has been in a black box to many outsiders, who tend to assume a decentralization policy model due to a great diversity of forest and socio-economic conditions in China. To test this hypothesis, we used the policy prescriptiveness framework to classify on-the-ground forest practice policies in central government and eight provinces, covering extensive territorial variations. We found that the eight subnational cases that implemented local policies appeared to be consistent with central policies, but there were also subtle differences within them. Our findings show that China utilized centralized and top-down policy models.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Early online date26 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2024

Data Availability Statement

The datasets used and analyzed during the current study are available
from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


We are grateful to Gus Greenstein, Ruiting Liang and Catherine Rothacker for
their research assistance

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